Stuck Inside? Let’s Play!


Stuck Inside? Let's Play! | Denver Metro Moms Blog

As you prepare for Winter, how can you get ready for those long days spent inside with the kids? Without a plan, it is inevitable that they will end up mindlessly swiping the tablet, watching TV, and playing video games. I admit it. I’ve done it. The day has gone by and I’ve been involved in some very important project and before I know it, I realize the children have spent nearly all day (not the recommended 2 hours) on some type of screen.

Years ago when my 12-year-old was a toddler, I bought a book called “Unplugged Play” by Bobbi Conner. That was when I still had the utopian vision that I could steer my children away from screens. Well… child 2 came and then child 3 and I found myself scrambling to keep myself sane AND make sure that the activities that the kids chose involved something brain stimulating.

I have since learned to use electronics as a tool (mostly) to help my children grow and learn. And it’s always better when the indoor play gets them moving, so they can get some of that pent up energy out.

I teach fitness classes for toddlers and preschoolers and I have used the music and videos reviewed below to foster movement and learning. And, yes, my own kids love these games, too.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo

In a culture where weird is cool, these guys land somewhere between The Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba. My 8-year-old daughter loves the Pop Se Ko video series, which she started doing as brain breaks in school. They really are hysterically silly. I think they watched waaaay too much Barney as children.

If you venture to their website, you will see song titles that will sneak giggles from any little boy population. Stick to Pop Se Ko and Go Noodle series and skip the Gross CD.

Mark D. Pencil

For the more hip hop inclined, Mark D. Pencil will get your kids following directions and counting, and YOU might just find yourself dancing along with the beat, too. I have used the Learning with Hip Hop and Get Up albums with toddlers and preschoolers for years, and they never seem to tire of them. This song is a popular one from ages 1 -10. Note to parents: to get best participation from your kids, participate with them and exaggerate your gestures to get them excited about moving! If you don’t, your child will just stare blankly at the screen.

Learning Station

“Healthy music for a kid’s heart, body, and mind”

The Learning Station is the cream of the crop when it comes to children’s educational music. They have published over 400 songs and they present at education conferences all over the world. I like that the songs encourage movement and that there are several movement themed albums including Literacy in Motion and Physical Ed.

Anyone who can get a room full of middle schoolers to sing Boom Chicka Boom, with hand gestures and all, has a special flair to be sure. Visit this link for a fun video that will surely make your kids laugh.

There are plenty of You Tube videos to watch, but the CDs are fun and are available as MP3 downloads, too.

Of course, I don’t want you to think that my utopian vision of unplugged play dissolved. In the next installment we will explore unplugged play through the eyes of my 5, 8 and 12 year old.

Comment and share your tips on how you get your kiddos moving when the weather outside is “frightful!”


Previous articlePraying for Paris
Next articleOde to My Four-Year-Old
In the journey of life, Gina would choose a boat to traverse the days of her life. Boating for her is analogous with the way we choose to ride the waves of each passing day and how we weave in and out of the wakes of others. Gina grew up the youngest of 10 children in Indiana and boating on Lake Monroe in Southern Indiana with her family was a staple activity of every summer weekend. The mountains of Colorado seemed a good tradeoff for the Indiana lakes and cornfields, and she blazed a trail West after graduating from Indiana University. In Colorado, she has spent the last 20 years establishing herself as an expert in the local fitness industry as a personal trainer, Yoga teacher and Fitness Director at two parks and recreation agencies. Her marriage to her artist husband in 2003 stoked her creative fires and with the birth of each of her 3 children (ages 12, 7 and 5), she discovered her own innate wisdom and power during pregnancy. Gina believes that a woman can be at her strongest and most aligned with her intuition during pregnancy. She desires to teach every pregnant woman how to navigate the waves of pregnancy with grace. This passion gave birth to her pre and postnatal education business, Power of Pregnancy . She currently certifies fitness professionals to teach and lead prenatal fitness classes and private sessions. In the next few years, she hopes that Power of Pregnancy will be a recognized brand of prenatal fitness classes.


  1. My daughter is obsessed with Mark D. Pencil & The Learning Station! Our local library plays both during story time for some “get up and wiggle” time and my little one is hooked. And, not gonna lie, my husband and I have played “Following Directions with Exercise” more times than we’d like to admit…without the kid around. 😉


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here